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Professor Sue Sample


* R Sample, Sue, John Smith, and Jane Doe. (Eds.) 2012. The Dialectic of Nothingness. Toronto,
ON: University of Toronto Press. *I am the lead editor in the book project.
* R Sample, Sue and Pier R. E. Vuy. 2008. "Still nothing to say: a review of recent theorists of
nothingness" Social Trends. Vol. 3 (1): 1-73. *Lead author.
R Moss, Flora and Sue Sample. 2007. "Why we eat food: the transgressive role of the empty
stomach." Agriculture and Human Values 15 (3):45-73. *Second Author: contributed
analytical expertise and editorial assistance


Conference Papers
R Sample, Sue. "Nothing really matters anymore." Annual Meeting of the Association of Nothing
Researchers. Washington DC. USA. June 2009.
R Sample, Sue and Noam Atter. "Re-thinking the Concept of Nothingness for the 21st Century"
American Sociological Association. 101st Annual Meeting. August 2006. *Lead Author with
Graduate Student co-author.

Conference Papers and Public Lectures
Sample, Sue. 2008. Do We Underestimate the Importance of Nothingness? Invited Plenary Panel
Address. Canadian Association of Nothing. Carleton University. June 2006.

R Sample, Sue. Forthcoming. "Victims of Nothing: Nowhere to go but Down". Social Forces.
Accepted August 2014.


Policy Consultations
Frequent Meetings with the Human Resources and Development, Canada regarding the impact of
Nothing on the Canadian job market. (2009-present)

Member of the City of Toronto's Blue Ribbon panel on the Assessment of Nothingness programs. (2008-


1. The Nothingness Manifesto (McMillan, 1998). This book opened up the field of nothingness
studies. It has been cited over 2,000 times and is in its third reprint. The book shows that
nothing is itself a construct that needs to be understand before social activities and
engagements can be fully appreciated.
2. (with Mark Mywords) "Please - no more: nothing as a form of social release" American
Sociological Review 1999 (1):344-390. This article presented the results of a qualitative study
into people who just wanted the interview to stop.
3. "Nothing Could be Worse" Canadian Review of Sociology 2002 (4): 1-45. This article
explains how negativity can offer individuals comfort in times of trouble.

Professor Sue Sample
4. with John Smith, and Jane Doe. (Eds.) 2009. The Dialectic of Nothingness. Toronto, ON:
University of Toronto Press. This book explores the views on nothingness of theorists and
philosophers from Plato to the modern day. I am lead author on the project.
5. "The Stuff of Life: Science, Spirituality and Sociology in North America" Religion and
Sociology 1994(1):1-45. This article pioneered the idea that life is made of stuff, an idea that
has since become widely accepted among sociologists.


On April 1st, 2007, my eldest child disappeared into a black hole. This, on its own may not have delayed
my research but it was compounded by an increased demand of elder care from my parents who were
both on their deathbeds from January to August of 2007 (they died together on August 15th, 2007 by
mutually assisted suicide).

Over the past 6 years, I have served as doctoral supervisor for 3 graduate students (2 of them are on-
going) and have employed 2 students to work as Research Assistants on my previous SSHRC-funded
research project. When I supervise students, I ensure that they have experiences with every stage of the
research process, involving them in initial design discussions as well as in the data collection, analysis
and writing up of research results.

Sole Supervisor for:

Em Ti, (defended dissertation, December 2009) Just Get me out of this Place: The "Other" in
Discourses about Graduation. Ti is currently an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the
University of Western Ontario
Melissa Nomind (3 year PhD student) Nothing in Seventeenth-Century Thought
Abby Small (18th year PhD student) The Elasticity of Time: a study of graduate students' ideas
about time management

Co-supervisor for:
Lou Piest (4th year PhD student) When Nothing Seems to be the Matter: Blank Expressions,
Parking Spaces and Vacuum Cleaners

I have also supervised numerous undergraduate students conducting independent studies projects and
have employed a work-study student to help with data administration each year.